Steel Marvels



Project Brief
The elegantly standing arch roofed lamp like steel structure is a safety house designed to serve as a fire fighting and safety training station, to be located at Chennai. This captivating spacious structure has a unique inclined cladding periphery with glass façade sloping outwards in all directions. The project has been designed with state-of-the art utilities making this a class design venture.

Design Concept
The basic design concept of the structure is the lighting lamp thought. Being a fire fighting training station, the first thought conceived was the behaviour of fire as the same fire can spread light and if uncontrolled it can destroy anything. So the fire needs to be controlled as in a lamp which spreads light. By keeping this theme and considering the functionality of the structure as a fire fighting training station the lamp shape was drawn for the safety training center which suites it unconditionally and also being simple , cohesive in appeal at the same time.

The edifice being utilised for training facility for fire fighting workmen, having hollow structural steel sections as primary members being explored extensively to reduce the tonnage of the structure to 50 MT and to give maximum clear span suiting the interior work station module in each floor. Being a safety house, the structure is designed considering all kind of possible fire fighting occasions that could challenge the workmen. The structure is composed of composite deck slab as roof and floor slabs and also external cladding bracings to provide an arch shaped roof covering to evoke a decorated gate lamp resemblance to the structure.


“The expertise of Marvel team helped in giving this special aesthetics to the utility building with glass façade and architectural cladding and external bracings in front of the building casing the roof and flowing to the foundation which is one of the most unique features of this project. The required clear span area, structure profile, construction timing and overall economy determined the necessity to adopt and propose structural steel system and roofing. There is also added advantage for addition and alteration space for future requirements considering flexibility of the material, hence, the specific frame and bracing configuration.”

SHIBILY P. A., Structural Engineer, Marvel Structural Consultants

Structural Form
The decorated lamp pattern is acquired by providing the column members inclined in the designed angle and linearly varying floor areas to maintain that accurate lamp shape required in the geometry. The form of the structure consists of 10 inclined columns each of 36 ft to maintain the structure with a slope of 150 and is tied with beams all around the columns at each floor level of 11.5 ft height.

Each floor area is around 35 ft x 25 ft, 40 ft x 30 ft ,45 ft x 35 ft and 50 ft x 40ft starting from the ground floor to terrace with properly designed tunnels, fire pots, trap doors and slide door openings and arrangements as per the demanding requirements of the structure. The roofing system is curved and covered with galvalume sheeting and has and insulation of thermal gradient.

The role played by Marvel Structural Consultants team was extended up to linking the conceived thought and to execute the same practically. The team was involved right from the conceptual stage of the project which helped to execute the design successfully. As structural consultants, its engineers were instrumental in conceiving the concept in to a reality.

Using Steel
The versatility of steel gives designers the freedom to achieve their most ambitious visions. From being light weight, to giving column less large span spaces, it is an old age material with very modern expressions and compatibility. Steel structures can be erected speedily with accuracy. In fact, speed of erection is often one of the main criteria for selecting steel. Time related savings can easily amount up to 5 per cent of the overall project value, reducing the requirements for working capital and improving cash flow.

Steel framed structures are highly durable and do not age or decay as quickly as other construction materials, thereby, lasting longer before refurbishment is required. Steel’s inherent adaptability and flexibility also means that future changes or extensions – even vertically – can be carried out with minimal disruption and cost.

Meeting Requirements
The building is designed as per IS 800: 2007 code for super structure and IS 456: 2000 code for sub structure considering both strength and serviceability criteria with all the geographical data like wind loads – IS 875 part , Seismic loads – IS 1893 : 2002 ,loadings IS 875 part I & part II and load combinations as per IS 800: 2007.

The design of the building is creative in nature with new innovation techniques used to meet all the stringent building requirements that could meet all their processes. The engineering team successfully managed to overcome the restrictions on height of the column and on depth of both beams and columns to fit in all the client’s requirements. Special emphasis was laid on the design parameters in order to ensure that all aesthetic aspects will be ensured in the structural design also.

Strength & Stability
This structure features mainly hollow steel sections of grade 350 Mpa size varying from 250 x 250 x 12 mm square hollow sections as primary columns to 300 x 200 x 12 mm rectangular hollow sections as primary beams connecting to the columns at each floor level by utilising its inherent nature of stability for torsion which makes it extremely rigid for strength, stability or serviceability. The steel structure is designed as a moment frame in all the directions and proper bracings of 140 mm diameter Pipe sections and 90x90x8 mm ISA sections of grade 250 Mpa are provided in the roof and it’s continued to the foundation through the wall bracings to control the lateral deflection occurring in the structure.

The structural design, by virtue of material (RHS/SHS) coupled with geometry and shape of the roofing system is extremely economical and also to achieve full moment portal frame connections easily. The structural steel consist of NB Pipes/SHS/RHS are used to tune the total tonnage to 50 MT.

Deflections in all directions including inter storey drift are controlled by providing proper structural arrangements meeting the spectacular aesthetic of the structure. The entire structural analysis of the 3D space frame has been carried out using STAAD.Pro software. The building has been synchronized in three dimensions to get the dynamic profile. It has thus, been modulated in Revit to achieve the correct geometry.

All floors and roof slab is of composite floor deck slab laid over the joists ensuring that the members will be connected with ease at site, ultimately aiding in reduction of overall construction time. Many openings are provided in the floor slabs considering tunnels, slide wells, shutter openings, fire pots, anchorage hooks etc. as per the requirement for the training facility by laying mezzanine beams accordingly.

Each floor area demands maximum clear span for the functionality of the work area. This requirement was the major design criteria to achieve both structural and architectural aspects. Also the structural members are treated to withstand high temperature which will arise during the training sessions.

Fact File:
Project Location: Chennai, Tamil Nadu
Client Name: Maruti Engineering
Structural Consultant: Marvel Structural Consultants
Project Phase: Under Construction
Image Courtesy: Marvel Structural Consultants

COLORBOND® XRW Spectrum Series


ASF, one of the world’s largest chemical producers, headquartered in Ludwigshafen, Germany decided to build a manufacturing unit in Chennai for making catalytic converters used in Automobiles. Aswathanarayana & Eswara LLP was considered as architect and consultant for the project. BASF project site location was close to the main entrance of Mahindra World City, Chennai, hence, maintaining a seamless decorum alongside the industrial expanse with an out-of-the-box design, was one of the primary requirements. Also designing this landmark building with an aesthetic appeal and ensuring its long-term durability of cladding material for a brand like BASF was the final intent.

H.E. Sriprakash Shastry, Partner in Aswathanarayana & Eswara LLP was completely aware of the BlueScope brand and its extensive contribution in the steel structures and solutions space for building materials. To suit the reputation and legacy of BASF, ZINCALUME and COLORBOND® were the obvious choices, resonating in itself a 50-year old heritage. Specifically, COLORBOND® XRW spectrum series was selected. Packed with a blend of metallic beauty and design flexibility and durability, the tone of spread of colors in spectrum series has been carefully selected to blend harmoniously with tropical environment, reflecting the strength and beauty of tropics.

ZINCALUME® steel material was selected for roof application due to its anti-darkening property, strength, flexibility, and its long-term durability. For building a world-class architectural marvel, profile selection was the next challenge for Aswathanarayana & Eswara LLP. BlueScope Steel’s Profile magazine – an inspiration in itself, was referred for profile shape, sinusoidal was the best suitable option over trapezoidal form.

Horizontal laying was adding sleek architectural look for building, and same was decided for installation methodology. The horizontal profile laying was more challenging, than the vertical laying. But, with proper care on supporting structure, it was cited to be simple to erect. Inspite of having a special requirement where colour was concerned, Tata BlueScope was able to supply the material on time – ZINCALUME steel coils for roof application and COLORBOND® steel coils (liner panel and wall panel) to both internal and external customers as per project schedule.

“This was a unique project which was possible only with collaboration and joint efforts with all involved. It is a result of a team work and expertise from all corners. Tata BlueScope Steel’s team has truly lived upto our expectations and made it possible for us to deliver a state-of-the-art pre-engineered building, and new age steel structure with world-class architectural look”, Aswathanarayana & Eswara LLP spokesperson quoted.

It is an iconic design and has become a landmark within the vicinity and around the Mahindra World City. Aesthetically exuberant, with a tinge of copper penny bronze shade, the structure is a striking example of imagination being transformed into reality. The building stands tall amidst serene backdrop of one of the most integrated hubs of modern India. BASF was happy with the final output of building mentioning it is a reflection of BASF image on factory shade as well along with high quality product.

Hansen Drives Limited, Coimbatore


Hansen Drives Limited invited CRN Consultants to their existing facilities at Belgium to understand the facilities and process utility details provided at site. The client explained what material is going to be produced in the site, and accordingly, the details and requirements for their Coimbatore factory was given to the architects on the same lines, and were asked to do the layout based on the local governing rules.

Designed to Need
The building conceptualised by CRN Consultants in Coimbatore was designed for stiffness rather than for strength, as all the equipment and suspensions are both, vibration and deflection drift sensitive. The building is well designed to bring maximum natural light to the operating floor which results in huge savings in energy costs. Dust proof warehouse, sensitive climatically controlled measuring rooms, completely air-conditioned manufacturing unit are some of the salient features of PEB construction.

Steeled with Choice
The entire building was having interconnectivity of each part because of their production requirement, and most of the factory floor area had to maintain the temperature to about +/- 24 degree centigrade with humidity about 70 per cent. Also, many EOT cranes were provided for their productive requirement and handling purposes. Hence, for the flexibility and easy maintenance, structural steel members were selected as the primary choice for the factory.

Simple yet Practical
The process and material flow required a simple geometry of plan layout with straight forward circulation. This resulted in a clean geometry of plan with emphasis on the wall and fenestration treatment to give the relief in the elevations. Open gantry was provided to handle the AHUs which were provided on the terrace of sheet roof of central passage.

Driven by Creativity
The client had interestingly wanted to use a North light system for the framing. The usual common practices driven by speed and economy was the regular ‘A’ frame. Based on their comfort levels and their practices, the client did not want to compromise on this, and hence, the architect developed a semi-North light profile for the roof. This worked well because the plans were otherwise on a strict geometric grid. The roof profile adopted seemed a natural extension of this geometry expressed on the higher roof plane.

North light glazing with multi-wall polycarbonate sheet and sheet partitions are used in this project to get the natural day light to the fullest extent. Sun rays during the day are dispersed by the partitions and the factory gets the natural light. About 78.5 meters long lattice type crane girder, 2-meter deep beams are lifted by 5 cranes on a single lift. Rain water collection from such a large area was done by means of PVC header pipe systems and an efficient rain water harvesting system is implemented over 30 per cent savings in time for the customer.

Erection was done with state-of-the-art facilities like man lifts/scissor lifts to save time and safe working. North light glazing with multi-wall polycarbonate sheet and sheet partitions are used to get the natural day light to the fullest extent. Sun rays during the day are dispersed by the partitions and the factory will have natural light. The factory flooring and internal roads were laid with steel fibres imported from Belgium and laser levelling was done to achieve the levelled floor to accommodate the Air pillow movement with load on it.

As far as software used for designing and detailing is concerned, STAAD with analysis by considering the prevailing IS Codes and standards was used, and also NBC for the foundation, civil works and PEB works along with all Utility works was used. Kirby Building Systems India Limited, Hyderabad was the supplier of entire PEB buildings at site, including the erection with their qualified erection gang with their site engineers at site. The works were supervised by CRN from the start till the handing over the project in all respects to client.

“This was a very demanding project to work on due to the complexity of the process and material handling – both the raw materials and the finished product. Coupled with exacting specifications and quality of the overseas investors, the project team wanted similar indoor working conditions including natural lighting. Since the facility was also air-conditioned, it became necessary for us to balance the demands of Coimbatore’s increasingly harsh summer with natural lighting through the North light trusses. This allowed the use of a hybrid solution of the semi-North light and the end result was surprisingly efficient from both the aesthetic and cost perspectives.”

C. N. Srinivasan, Managing Director, C. R. Narayana Rao (Consultants) Private Limited

Client: Hansen Drives Limited
Architect: C. R. Narayana Rao (Consultants) Pvt. Ltd.
Consultant: C. R. Narayana Rao (Consultants) Pvt. Ltd.
Steel Fabricator: Kirby Building Systems Limited
Steel Tonnage: 21,000 MT
Status: Completed



The design of Aearth is envisaged as an art resort with an art gallery and nine cottages which could also be rented as artist studios during art camps, exhibitions and art auctions. A commercial venture which will work much like an art village in some sense, calling art enthusiasts to come and work together amid like-minded people, while at others will serve as a resort facilitating a serene hospitable environment to soothe the jostled minds.



The prolonged winters in Manali causes a lot of snow to settle as thick blankets over the built form. The glare of the sun further hardens this sheath, making it enormously heavy and dense. This causes to develop cracks in the skylights or the snow falls down as heavy chunks causing injury to the person walking underneath. To deal with such an issue, we derived a technique of running high resistance thin wired cables over the structure. These carry a very low amount of current through them, which gets heated up and prevents the settling of snow as big chunks on the top. This simple design intervention saved from the extensive labour of clearing the roof top off snow and assured a long life of the structure

MANISH GULATI | Principal, M:OFA Studios

Ideating the Design
This triangulated grid shell system was conceived through various visual and visceral connotations. The design took shape by manifesting the idea of a crumpled paper, where its multitude folds and crevices crafted the interstitial voids of the structure. The main building with the use of slate walls and pine wood windows features an origami roof unfolding over the structure that took subtle clues from the prevailing traditional architecture.
The overall form is envisaged to simulate a cavernous space or an ant hill, sporadically deriving its form from nature. The cottage pods and the roof for the main building have been designed as a composite structure using a skeleton of tubular steel framework covered with thin ferrocement shell. The austere skin of the roof gets a natural makeover by the local flora taking over and imitating like giant moss covered rocks in a forest.

Modular in Approach
An inward looking confined box-like concrete skeleton to be built in a context of rich flora, a gushing river and snow covered mountains doesn’t sound synchronous to the architects. Instead, they chose to work on materials that resonates traditional architectural sensibilities of Naggar, while providing an opportunity to connect with the local craftsman. Being adept to such extreme weather conditions, collaborating with these people was essential as they can carry the construction process with much ease than anyone.

Steel is brought as modular units from Delhi and assembled on site. In casting a trapezoidal triangular form in the stated precinct, it has much more workability and efficiency than concrete. The cottage pods were divided and triangulated using steel frames where a thin sheath of ferrocement is poured over it. Through a few workshops, the local craftsmen were able to learn the technique of applying ferrocement together over the tubular steel shell, something as akin to their dexterity with plaster.

Harmonizing with Nature
Aearth Resort is nestled in the idyllic context of Naggar, Manali where its every facet harmonises with the sound of nature. The site lies on a slope with the access road on the top. A top down approach to the site looks into the valley where it brings enchanting views of the overlooking Kullu Valley, the snow covered mountains and the baes river.

The rear side is flanked with dense pine, apple and cherry trees. In order to develop a resort in a context of sparse populace and a few traditional buildings dotted about, it was not to build a RCC jungle having a substantially large footprint, something that would look irrelevant amidst the stated precincts but to mould a design language that settles harmony with the surroundings. Here, the architecture took inspiration from the geomorphic processes, on how the nature built habitats that grows from its lap.

The Cottage units are conceived as cocoons growing sporadically from the land, just like an ant hill, connected in its parts. This followed the experimentation to check the functionality of the pods. Anthropometrically, every cottage from inside is traced around the resultant silhouttes generated by various movements of the users inside, providing a cozy scale inside the cocoons. Since light plays a crucial role in imparting the space with a certain comfort quotient, double glazed skylights or the eyelids have been carefully planned to filter as much natural light throughout the prolonged winters while helping in passive solar gain.

These skylights create desired cracks into this perceivable solid form for the exchange of light and removing the divide between inside and outside. Architecture presents a dual propensity in perceiving the inside-outside relationship. From outside it emulates a growth emerging out from the hills covered in vegetation while from inside, the adroitly crafted cracks of the cottages open up to the stunning spectacle of the valley.

Designer’s Voyage
The overall experience of the project has been one with tremendous learning. The design journey went through understanding various elements and constraints associated with the context, site language, built morphology, material palette and local craftsmanship. A project like this takes its own time, as nature and its varied processes are involved in contemplating the final design.

With every fleeting season, a new facet of the design comes to the surface. It reveals the natural growth of architecture emerging out of the hills, conspicuously carving itself through woods, and taken over by the local flora. The resort beautifies the inevitable ageing of the built form. Having the right materials in a subtle concoction, the architecture ages with grace. The local materials like wood, stone, and metal keeps the heritage of traditional timeless architecture alive, adding to it a rustic patina of age.
(Contributed by: Zohra Khan, Media Researcher, M:OFA Studio)

Fact File

Client: Palak Singh
Architect: M:OFA Studios
Structural Engineer: ROARK Consulting Engineers
Project Management Consultant: Jade Consultants
Steel Tonnage: 60 Tonnes
Status: Ongoing





Skydham, a high-end residential tower is designed to bring in the best combination of modern construction technology and highest form of luxury. The client had given a clear brief to the architect to develop what is unique in its form, utility and construction. Tall buildings are being made for a while now, but, no one has given a thought of making those buildings self-sufficient at that height.

Unique Creation
With Skydham, Architect Prem Nath thought about creating sky-high villas – thus one has a multi-level penthouse apartment at all floor levels. Its every corner has a garden and high tech facilities. The skyline is good and one has the opportunity to live in a villa at the sky-high level which is the high point of this project. This project’s design development underwent quite a few ideations and numerous initial concept sketches, however, the best evolved from the base design thought by Architect Prem Nath; wherein the evolved concept was what gave the building an ergonomic look and feel.


“Skydham is a project close to my heart, not only because the project is beautiful in concept, but, also because it is bound to change the common perception about the use of steel in the high-end residential segment”

ARCHITECT PREM NATH | Principal, Prem Nath & Associates

Planning With Steel
The building is being planned in composite steel – with a combination of steel with concrete; the slabs shall be all in steel panel with laid concreted over it, while the columns too shall be in steel sections encased in concrete – this is being done, not only to ensure best of construction, but, to enable faster and relatively modern technique of construction – steel is a very versatile material and with better technology available to use steel in different forms, architects get an added incentive to design freely.

With one million sq. ft. of constructed area the said composite steel structure (with approx. 10,000 tonnes of variety of sections and plates being used) is planned with about 3 basements (engineering and allied services), 5 podium floors (parking) and 60 residential floors with 4 flats on each floor, 200 apartments ranging from 3/4 BHK, duplex and triplex/penthouses – topped with high-end facilities of club, pool, spa, business lounge, recreation hall, entertainment center, children play area, cyber lounge, laundry, boutique retail and so on.

Feeling On Top
With a podium base of five floors, recreation/facility space has been elevated above the routine pollution of Mumbai. The first floor is further elevated thru provision of stilt – thereby giving one a ‘Top of the World’ feel. Level of engineering systems support too is planned to be raised by providing for IBMS, bio-metric enabled security systems, centrally purified domestic water supply, and above all, this centrally air-conditioned building aspires to be fitted with solar/photo-voltaic film on glazing and exteriors – emergency power-backup – one can call it a live-building.

This steel structure shall be unique in many ways; thru its most modern and smart looks, its dynamic form in plan, its high speed and intelligent vertical transport system (having 12 nos. of capsule lifts), top-of-line finishing, fittings/fixture and accessories and so on.

Strategic Designing
The structure is kept simple in plan – it is kept symmetrical on both the axis with four wings supported with a central core, which allows the structure to balance itself, and thus go higher, ensuring the best combination of rigidity and flexibility in terms of seismic forces. The multiple basements and podium base further provide a comparatively stronger base to this structure. Multiple software was used from design development to the detail stage – these are a combination of 3D visualization software to drafting tools to structural, wind and heat effect analysis software.

Architect Prem Nath has taken many leading initiatives in the field of architecture and real estate. Recently, he won the coveted HUDCO Design Award 2015 for Green Architecture – HMEL Township; and his interview on “Smart Cities” has been featured in various news channels, thus, for Ar. Prem Nath, who is not only an Architect of experience, but, a chartered engineer too, development of steel structure, aspiring to be a green rated is always a great experience – as he likes to challenge himself again and again and surpass his own high standards of design innovation.

The project is currently at the under development stage, and the site execution should be completed in a fast track method within a period of 20 to 24 months. The project stake holders list tops with the client – Ajmera Developers, Architects & Project Managers – Prem Nath And Associates, Structural Consultants being M/s. Chetana Consultants, while other stake holders viz. the execution team, etc. are yet being constituted. This project once completed is sure to raise the bar for all types of steel structures, especially in the residential sector.

THERMATECH® Solar Reflectance Technology


Average temperature in the world has increased over the last few years. The frequency of hot days and nights has increased and is likely to continue to be so. It is creating stressful, unhealthy, and unproductive working conditions.

These conditions are more common in cities, where urban heat islands (UHIs) are caused by the intensity of non-reflective, high mass materials that absorb a comparatively large proportion of solar radiation. There is a need for alternatives to mechanical air-cooling solutions to reduce energy demand & related greenhouse gas emissions.

To address the issue, BlueScope R&D team has introduced COLORBOND® steel with Thermatech™ Solar Reflectance Technology shows the brand’s enduring qualities – innovative, superior, cutting-edge and trend leading.

With Thermatech™ technology, it is helping to create a future that is comfortable not just for people, but for the environment too. Combined with COLORBOND® steel’s renowned durability, colour retention and flexibility, you now have the power to shape the landscape to suit your business objectives, vision and conscience. Thermatech™ technology is a solar reflectance technology incorporated into COLORBOND® steel without changing its appearance. It lowers surface temperature by absorbing lesser heat from the sun. In other words, COLORBOND® steel with Thermatech™ technology is able to reflect more solar heat, thereby, keeping both roofs and buildings cooler. Reduced heat stress also means greater durability for entire roofing systems and superior ROI. Thus, Thermatech™ solar reflectance technology ensures cool comfort, while reducing energy cost.

The Fact: Thermal Performance for School Buildings
Most people can relate to an experience of oppressive summertime heat in a classroom where the air-conditioner has struggled or there was no air-conditioner present. It is hardly conducive to good learning outcomes. Good design can avoid these scenarios and also lead to reduced energy costs and positive environmental outcomes.

One of the main factors that makes a school building different from a home is that it is predominantly occupied during the day. Therefore, it is important when designing a school building that it performs well on hot days, and – in a climate-constrained world – minimises energy use on mechanical cooling.

For this reason, choosing materials with high solar reflectance to minimise the impact of heat absorbed from the sun is important. BlueScope Steel has recognised this and developed Thermatech® solar reflectance technology. The inclusion of this technology has increased the solar reflectance of all colours in the standard COLORBOND® steel palette, with an average increase of about 5 per cent. When compared to similar colours of lower solar reflectance the difference is much greater.

Thermatech™ allows you to choose from a range of attractive colours, with the knowledge that the colour has been optimised to provide the best outcome, with regards to energy efficiency and durability with all of the attributes expected from COLORBOND® steel.

A study showed that the inclusion of Thermatech® increases the solar reflectance of Woodland Grey by about 15 per cent. This will keep the roof up to 10°C cooler (even cooler when compared to similar colours of low solar reflectance) which will assist in keeping the building cooler and reducing the need for air-conditioning. Studies have shown that in moderate to hot climates the energy savings from increased roof solar reflectance through changing from a dark solar absorptive roof to a light solar reflective roof vary from about 10 to 50 per cent. The savings depend upon factors such as the climate, the building shape and form, the level of insulation and the usage of the building.

As school buildings are predominantly occupied during the day, combined with their often high roof to wall ratio, they typically derive high-energy savings. This would translate to possible cooling energy savings approaching 12 per cent through the inclusion of Thermatech™ for Woodland Grey (15 per cent when compared to roofing materials of similar colour of low solar reflectance).

Increasing roof solar reflectance reduces peak cooling loads on air-conditioning equipment. The inclusion of Thermatech™ will reduce the peak cooling load from an insulated (R3.2) Woodland Grey roof by about 2.6 W/m2. This will place less strain on the air-conditioning equipment or for a 1000 m2 conditioned school building, allow equipment downsizing as a result of a 2.6 kW reduction in load.

A study of two similar schools, identically coloured, with the only difference being the solar reflectance of the roof, demonstrates the large savings possible from using materials with high solar reflectance.

The study was conducted in Georgia, USA in a subtropical climate, with hot summers, not unlike Australian coastal regions north of Brisbane and very cold winters, not unlike Hobart. The study showed that the higher solar reflectance roof, resulted in cooling savings of 13 per cent (when heating was included the annual energy saving was about 9 per cent).

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories have been studying the value of high solar reflectance roofing on climate change. They have recently quantified that the reduced warming provides an equivalent offset of about 1 tonne of CO2 for every 10 m2 of roofing that has its solar reflectance increased by 40 per cent.

This equates to 2.5 kg.CO2-e/m2 per per-cent change in solar reflectance. On this basis the inclusion of Thermatech™ for Woodland Grey has an offset value of about 37 kg.CO2-e/m2 or 37 tonne for a 1000 m2 school building. Of course when the direct energy savings are included, the net CO2 emission reductions due to Thermatech™ are even greater.

High solar reflectance roofing also offers other benefits as a result of reduced warming of the local environment (urban heat islands). This translates to reduced cooling loads on other buildings. Choosing high solar reflectance materials for school buildings throughout all, but, the coldest parts of Australia is entirely appropriate. Choosing COLORBOND® steel with Thermatech™ provides peace of mind that your chosen colour has been optimised to provide the best sustainability and any energy efficiency outcomes.

Kongu Convention Centre, Erode


Kongu Convention Center was designed with the aim to provide world-class facilities to students who yearn for better socio-cultural interaction and high quality infrastructure, while keeping the cost of the whole construction to the minimum. Ar. Gurpreet Shah’s vision was to create an auditorium which could be used for other recreational purposes such that it is utilized all around the year. The basic idea was social upliftment of students of an education institute with nominal expenses in construction. With the aid of retractable seating, the auditorium could be converted to indoor sports courts. The building is made in sync with nature and surrounding landscaped area. The wings are connected by open public spaces. Thus, with limited artificial lighting and natural ventilation the building is made cost-effective without compromising on the quality.

Design and Form
Built on 23-acre site, Creative Group designed and planned the Kongu Convention Centre at Erode, Tamil Nadu which is one of the largest in India with a seating capacity of 4500 persons. Alternatively, it has indoor courts which are used as sports halls. The basic form of the auditorium has been derived from the Garuda (eagle in Hindu religion) in flight. The building’s body is projected longer and massive (resembling that of an eagle) while both the side wings, having a lesser volume with cut-outs for efficient light and ventilation, are used for outdoor public interaction spaces. It consists of a multi-purpose hall for indoor sports activities like badminton, table tennis and basketball. The backroom facilities of the auditorium also function as seminar rooms and rehearsal rooms. Additionally, facilities for conference halls, training center, guest rooms, offices and cafeteria are also provided.

The design was optimized beyond the requirements into a multi-purpose convention hall and the client reciprocated this idea with positivity. Executing the project on the established funding, the architects created a facility which could be pertinent and functional for all institutional activities. Hence, multiple functionalities were then incorporated into the building. The design was prepared keeping in view, the collective use of a large gathering space, enabling it to double up as a sports arena as and when required. The segmentation within spaces has been planned in an efficient manner to permit various activities simultaneously.

Planning and Structure
The convention hall has been placed at the site in such a manner that the pre-functional area and the main entrance translate into a saluting base to the athletic stadium in the front. Interactive seating spaces integrated with landscaped areas, act as a backdrop around the running track of the stadium and football ground. The main auditorium is flanked by 2 additional seating aisles which augment the capacity of the auditorium when required and in general acts as courts for indoor sports. When the building is not in use as an auditorium, it functions as an indoor sports complex for various sports activities throughout the year. This becomes possible with the help of a flexible seating arrangement which is not fixed to the floor in areas allotted for sports activities.

Steel and Innovation
RCC framed structure integrated with steel trusses envelope the roof of the convention hall. A network of primary, secondary and tertiary trusses enables large column free spaces of up to 50 meters. Double trusses have been used to span over the central auditorium. The wings (left and right) are primarily supported on the intermediate truss; provide access to the central spine without any hindrance. Box sections of 150mm x 150mm have been used in the roof trusses as well as the balcony girders. The balcony has the largest span seen in an auditorium of 30 m, which is also a heavy loading structure which accommodates 1500 people, out of the total 4500 people that the auditorium can accommodate. The box sections are also very flexible as they can take the desired shape or form as per the roof form. The girders in the balcony have a depth of 1200 mm. The use of steel box sections as opposed to girders in the roof is also an innovation seen for the first time in India, basically done to optimize cost.

Green and Sustainable
Weaving in all modern facilities and world class amenities in the convention centre, its ventilation, air-conditioning, acoustics and illumination are still focused upon. An efficient system of ventilation facilitates hot air to move up and escape through the clerestory windows. Additionally, fresh cool air is circulated around through ducted air cooling system. Light wells located on top of stairwells at the primary entrances infuse the circulation and pre-functional spaces with natural lighting throughout the day. The use of sun light, hollow blocks for the multi-purpose hall and grid pavers for car-parks aim to minimize the energy consumption of the campus. Ensuring optimum acoustic insulation, the convention hall is clad in cost-effective perforated gypsum boards to cut the reverberation time. Level 2 lighting has been provided as per international standards, especially for sports activities and national level competitions. Provision of stage lights and spot lights are also in accordance for national level performances.

“Less is more – brings richness in functionality for the multi-purpose convention centre.”
Under the guidance of Prof. (Ar.) Charanjit S. Shah and lead by Ar. Gurpreet S. Shah, this gigantic convention centre is designed to lend an iconic character to Kongu Engineering Campus.

Jai Prakash Narain International Centre Lucknow


The requirement was for column free spaces of 2 bays of 150 x 48 meters to accommodate Olympic sized swimming pool, tennis courts and conference halls. Also the roof was required to be sloping RCC with wooded garden on top which imposed heavy dead loads due to soil filling and live load of 5 kN/m2 as public gathering was possible as it was envisaged as public space.

No conventional concrete method was found suitable. So the design that was developed was of 1200 dia steel pipe arches spaced at every 8 meters, which supported 250 dia V-braces at every 4 meters opening up to a mouth of 4 meter each. Thus, a grid of 4m x 4m was formed to support the RCC roof above. The biggest challenge in design was to support RC slab with total loading of 15 kN/sgm for 48m span. The salient feature is that nowhere such a mix of steel and concrete has been used to arrive at the required structural solution.

Since time was of essence, RCC arches were not possible as it would require a lot of time for shuttering & execution and also would have added a lot of unnecessary dead load to the structure making it more expensive. So as explained in the design concept the only solution were steel arches to span 48 meters. 25mm thick plate was rolled into a 1200 dia pipe and segmented arches were formed by welding them together with full penetration butt-weld. The central piece of the pipe was left to be bolted after the erection of the 2 side pieces to facilitate erection. This formed an elegant structure solution to support the RCC floor above.

Noida World One


Design Concept
Noida World One is a commercial project with corporate offices/IT and retail showrooms. The project consists of five towers having 30 storeys with parking at the basements floors, retail showroom at next two levels and then office floors. The top floor is a terrace garden and swimming pool. The three towers are inter-connected with 30 m long bridge giving a look of a big floor plate at the top. The towers have been conceptualized with composite columns and steel beams and bracings.

As the structure is located in high seismic zone and owing to its sleek geometry and height, the structure is more vulnerable to wind and earthquake forces. Therefore, to cater to the lateral load, an optimum combination of shear walls and bracings were worked out to achieve economy and construction speed. The framing of the building has been designed to provide large office spaces without compromising on the clear floor-to-floor height.

It has been a pleasure being associated with the Noida World One project. We have tried to implement avant-garde design processes for this structure in order to increase the efficiency of the building and making the design sustainable by saving the quantum of material. The Indian codal provisions have yet to develop further for composite structures. However, the use of Eurocodes and American design codes and further research helped out in the design. I am happy to thank the project head -Prabhat Bansal for his contribution and active leadership in the project. Contribution from Abhishek Jain have also been substantial to the project.

DR. VINOD JAIN, MD, Vintech Consultants

Structural Aspects
Due to the rectangular sleek plan of the building, the deflections are high along the shorter dimension. The requirement of open spaces without obstructions and controlling the lateral deflection to maximize the comfort of the inhabitants, the shear walls have also been provided. The foundation system is a raft. The plastic analysis of the structural members is considered in design of the structural steel members. The effect of concrete in providing additional strength and stiffness i.e. composite action is considered both for beams and composite columns.

Steel Applicability
Structural steel is used in conjunction with concrete efficiently utilizing both materials. The reduction in self-weight of the building and reduction in construction time are added benefits of using the composite frame buildings in comparison to traditional RCC structure. I sections are used for beams and columns. The columns are built with E 550 grade steel and beams are made up of E 450 grade steel. Availability of high strength steel at a modest outlay and considerable reduction in total weight were an appreciated advantage of the steel-concrete structure.

Steel Sections
Generally fabricated built-up steel sections are used in this building. Columns at lower floors are I-sections of 700 mm depth and 400 mm width encased in M70 grade concrete having outer dimensions as 1000 x 1200. The bracings are square hollow sections. The beams are I sections, with primary beams on typical floor have 600 mm depth and secondary beams ranging from depth of 350 mm to 600 mm. The periphery beams are chosen as the channel section for a superior look to the façade. Special attention is paid to reduce the different type of beam, hence achieving economy and speed by limiting type of joints and optimizing beam fabrication process.

Challenges & Complexities
At the two basement floors, the requirement of clear floor to floor height is more, therefore, the depth of the beams have to be limited to 425 mm. The location of the bracing countering the deflections in the shorter direction is limited due to the requirement of open spaces. Therefore, many iterations were done in order to have a perfectly working structural system with shear walls and bracings. The bridge connecting the towers had to be designed and modeled with appropriate structural assumptions.

Salient Features
The trend of using structural steel in commercial and residential buildings is slowly catching up in India and World One is one of it. The 30-storey tower houses commercial and retail spaces and the towers are planned to be finished in 45 per cent of the time of a traditional RCC structure. The project is located at a lucrative address on Noida Expressway providing great accessibility, spacious homes, well-lit, modern and equipped with the latest amenities. Enhancing their accessibility is the fact that these offices are located next to the proposed metro station with FNG connectivity. The bandwidth of Noida World One gives consumer the option to choose from a wide range of offices suited their needs.Although the steel manufacturer is yet to be decided,the sections used for column and bracings are fabricated sections. However, beams are mix of rolled and fabricated sections.


In today’s day and age, most of the architecture that surrounds us becomes a kind of background hum, to be noticed only when it is exceptionally striking. When our eyes move around in our surroundings, do we notice the box-shaped edifices that existed in the past or that one building that irks our imagination? The answer is clear and undeniable. A structure that speaks volumes through its design, the Skyone Tower reinforces the term ‘standing out in a crowd’. An inception of the Creative Group, the curious architects wanted to innovate a building that not only sustains the ability to influence the emotions of the human mind, but, also encapsulates functionality.

In the present global context, a single window approach looking beyond architecture is a necessity. It is not only important to develop a design that is aesthetic, but, it should also be commercially feasible, for the overall viability of the project

Prabhpreet S. Shah,
Executive Director, Creative Group

Redefining the Perception
“When architecture is envisioned through an inventive lens and gracefully executed, it has an impact far beyond its footprint. A great building can revive a locale, energize its surroundings or simply exhibit a sense of wonder”, asserts Prof. Charanjit Shah, Founding Principal, Creative Group. Redefining the perception of skyscrapers, the Skyone Tower is a concept influenced by the free body movements of a female ballet dancer, standing tall. The swift dialogue exchange between two ballerinas while dancing depicts the dynamism of the building whist respecting nature. Inspiration has also been taken from flowing water that flows along with the wind and cuts its way through rocks to make deep valleys, thus, depicting fluidity merged with strength. Apart from adding a sense of buoyancy, the building incorporates the client’s logo in a three dimensional form, both vertically as well as horizontally, hence repositioning the client’s identity. The project will be a landmark project with its unique design which propagates not only the architect’s intent but also the client’s vision to reinforce their brand in the country.

Reviving with Environment
An international class product providing high quality commercial and retail areas along with office spaces for the client, studio apartments and a health centre with a swimming pool, this mixed use tower will rekindle the suburban city, making it the hub of international corporate offices and residential housing developments. As we enter the site, the commercial complex has its façade facing the road whereas the housing tower sits back, away from the hustle and bustle. This segregated approach has been taken to maintain the privacy of the housing and the office space. The commercial plaza has a stepped building form which is higher in the rear and low in the front to avoid any obstruction in the visibility of the tower from the main road along with serving the purpose of recreational areas for the residential and corporate spaces. The site has been planned in such a way that the commercial activities do not interfere with the office spaces, thus, maintaining the reticence of the work environment.

Ideating the Structure
Talking about the structure, it seems as if the entire building could be a fold-up affair, twisted into circular forms. The tower has been highlighted by adding curves, but at the same time, it has been stabilized with a central core. The building is enveloped with steel vertical bands all around within which a unique jali pattern is used, which not only acts as an aesthetic element but also stabilizes the building oscillation. Adapted from a fluid DNA structure, the intertwined “jali work” adds richness whereas the green band manifests the connection with nature. Altering the idea of a conventional high rise building, breathing spaces have been provided after every seven floors in the tower, in the form of sky courts outlined with landscape designs. These sky courts act as open spaces which can be utilized commercially as recreational zones, adding a delightful mood of lightness in the structure. Reiterating Creative Group’s philosophy of coexistence of architecture and nature, the manicured landscape lets the building breathe with nature.

Enabling Sustainability
Sustainability has also been given prime importance while designing the skyscraper. The energy efficient facades of the building intelligently use natural daylight by providing maximized glazing on the north façade. The wind direction is along the longer façade which allows wind to pass over the curved faces on east and west. The flat slab structural system has column less office spaces with structural bracing done at every seven floors. As we move inside the building, we are welcomed with ebullient spaces that allow a relaxed and easy movement within the tower. This effortless movement energizes the user to meander through the retail spaces without any confusion. “The idea was to present the user with a building that requires zero effort. We are not only fusing our idea of dynamism with stability, but also efficiently utilizing each and every space,” explains Ar. Gurpreet Shah, Principal Architect. Double façade has been provided on the ground floor for maximum employment of spaces and an extended shopping experience making it an “extroverted” building. The roof terraces are developed to be used as open air restaurants and clubs whereas the proposed podium could be used as an open air banquet, designating a function to each space.

Harmonious Working Environment
“In the present global context, a single window approach looking beyond architecture is a necessity. It is not only important to develop a design that is aesthetic but it should also be commercially feasible, for the overall viability of the project,” illustrates Er. Prabhpreet S Shah, Executive Director. On the same lines, Creative Group recognized local consumer perception to increase footfall in this multi-use tower, thereby, giving the users the best commercial and retail experience, not forgetting to inculcate a relationship with its surroundings as well as the nature to provide a harmonious working environment for the working class.

Rehabilitating the image of a commercial skyscraper and shifting the focus on the customer experience, Skyone Tower creates a perfect balance between design innovation and practical retail considerations. Trumping the humble high street, yet, providing convenience which is rapidly multiplying to suit the end user, this ‘legend in the sky’ is a new form of urban intelligentsia.